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Rule Change Needed? Free Lift and Drop from a Divot?


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Not a fan of Paige really, but she could be on to something here:

 

 

What do you think? 
Did Westwood catch a bad break after hitting a great drive on 18? 

Not sure about you guys, but when I'm not playing in a match I definitely move it out of any fairway "holes" when I find one. (And I say holes because these are rarely smooth and clean sand-filled divots LOL)

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Not a fan of Paige really, but she could be on to something here:
 
 
What do you think? 
Did Westwood catch a bad break after hitting a great drive on 18? 

Not sure about you guys, but when I'm not playing in a match I definitely move it out of any fairway "holes" when I find one. (And I say holes because these are rarely smooth and clean sand-filled divots LOL)

When is a divot no longer a divot?
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This discussion has occurred several times and to develop a rule what is considered a divot would be difficult. It’s the run of the green and golf wasnt intended to have perfect lies

Nobody thinks they need to put a ball back when they get a good break

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Yep, it is often discussed and points made on both sides. But yeah, the big thing is how to define what's a divot and is one that is fresh and unrepaired treated differently than one that is a day or two old and "healed"

Also one thing that I find funny when a shot ends up in a divot.  The announcers react like it has just fallen into some abyss.    And usually usually to the player, it's just a shrug of the shoulders,  as they make ball first contact 99.999% of the time, and usually hit a pretty good shot.   Would be interesting at some point to hear Bones or John Woods comments when they are following a group and see it happen, hear what they say that there quys thought about it when it happened.

 

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Yeah - maybe golf could think about changing some rules.... but, then again.

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Yes this is dumb. Let Westwood move the ball over half an inch and play on. Stupid oversight by the USGA on the rules. At least it was filled and leveled and not like the potholes we see on public tracks.

An easy way to say what's a divot is either if a player is in an area designed to have grass and there is not grass under the ball AND/OR any part of the ball comes to rest below the intended playing surface.

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An easy way to say what's a divot is either if a player is in an area designed to have grass and there is not grass under the ball AND/OR any part of the ball comes to rest below the intended playing surface.


The courses you play must be immaculate. I would be taking drops all day if that was the basis for the decision.
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53 minutes ago, DiscipleofPenick said:

Yes this is dumb. Let Westwood move the ball over half an inch and play on. Stupid oversight by the USGA on the rules. At least it was filled and leveled and not like the potholes we see on public tracks.

An easy way to say what's a divot is either if a player is in an area designed to have grass and there is not grass under the ball AND/OR any part of the ball comes to rest below the intended playing surface.

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I have lots of courses here that have spots where grass is designated to be but there isn’t any and some courses the fairways may not even be grass. 
 

If anyone wants to have a clean lie they should play indoors

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I agree with the can of worms that would opened up by trying to define what a divot is.  It's one of those situations where when you see it, you know it and it's obvious.  But there is a wide gray area there and much like we used to have to Tiger proof courses, I feel like now we need to Reed proof rules.

I did see a great tweet from Alfonso Ribero though.  The reason we rake bunkers is so the people that are first out and the people that are last out can play under the same conditions (that are able to be controlled)  So why are the people that played best that week punished by having more divots to avoid compared to people who played worse and went out first?

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I agree with the can of worms that would opened up by trying to define what a divot is.  It's one of those situations where when you see it, you know it and it's obvious.  But there is a wide gray area there and much like we used to have to Tiger proof courses, I feel like now we need to Reed proof rules.
I did see a great tweet from Alfonso Ribero though.  The reason we rake bunkers is so the people that are first out and the people that are last out can play under the same conditions (that are able to be controlled)  So why are the people that played best that week punished by having more divots to avoid compared to people who played worse and went out first?

What a about yesterday’s or last weeks divots?

The only real solution would be preferred lies in the fairway. If you are in the fairway you get to roll the ball within say 6” of where it stopped....always.
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2 hours ago, DiscipleofPenick said:

.......
An easy way to say what's a divot is either if a player is in an area designed to have grass and there is not grass under the ball AND/OR any part of the ball comes to rest below the intended playing surface.
 

PR would be drooling over all the lie improvements he could do with that definition!!   🤣

I thought the tourney's had volunteers that fill the divots between groups so it's leveled out and they aren't hitting from a crater.  As mentioned they hit the ball first so it doesn't impact their shot very much.

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The courses you play must be immaculate. I would be taking drops all day if that was the basis for the decision.
It's the exact opposite, as I play a ton of public golf and there's gopher holes dug by weekend hacks at almost all courses. And those bare spots would be marked in white lines Ground Under Repair if they even existed at tournament level establishments, country clubs, and resorts. There should be leeway in the rules for this discretion. High end courses take care of these things. The public do not.

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This debate has been argued ad nauseam as long as I can remember -- from the pros to the hackers -- all have an opinion.  I've been in my share of divots, from craters to sand-filled -- sometimes it hoses me, but typically, I just focus on striking the ball better and usually come out just fine.  I personally don't think this rule will ever change and I'm okay with that.  Without a doubt, many will agree and many will disagree -- and we have years of this argument to see that.

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8 hours ago, StrokerAce said:

Not a fan of Paige really, but she could be on to something here:

 

 

What do you think? 
Did Westwood catch a bad break after hitting a great drive on 18? 

Not sure about you guys, but when I'm not playing in a match I definitely move it out of any fairway "holes" when I find one. (And I say holes because these are rarely smooth and clean sand-filled divots LOL)

I say play it as it lies.  No one ever said golf was fair.  Anyone I play with, if you tried to move your ball out of a fairway divot, they would make you move it back or give you a penalty stroke.

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I doubt this rule ever gets changed though I support the change.  The folks I play with move balls out of divots. If there are rocks or roots that are likely to get hit we move from those as well.  Yes, the dimes and quarters are serious money but not worth injury or damage to gear.

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I'll give Westwood credit. He took it in stride like a champ.

Also was surprised to hear he had won 22 times by the time he was BAD's age... impressive!

 

As expected, Westwood took the whole thing in stride. He was not asked about the bad luck in his post-tournament press conference, but he did respond to a tweet on DivotGate Sunday evening.

 

If anyone knows about golf being unfair, it’s Westwood, which is why this reaction is not surprising in the least. His ball has found a divot hole before and it likely will again, be it on a Thursday morning while no one is watching or in the final pairing on Sunday. If and when it does, Westwood will step up, strike it and move on to the next shot, fair or unfair.

 
 
 
 
 
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Play it as it lies. IMO, if you want to be a good ball striker, learn to play out of a divot. 

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This topic gets brought up every year or two, usually when there is a rule change and divots didn't make the cut... again, or a pro gets hosed in a tournament.  Westwood didn't get hosed.  He had a nice sand-filled divot to hit out of and made a nice shot onto the green.  

There are divots and then there are "divots".  Many courses we play don't have the luxury of sand-filled divots, especially this past year.  It's not that people occasionally don't fill divots, they never fill divots.  Our carts don't even have sand bottles anymore, and we don't have rakes for the bunkers either.  It's one thing to hit out of a sand-filled divot, it's quite another to hit out of a crater in the middle of the fairway, half the ball below below grade, with the divot angled 45 degrees to the direction of the green.  Now that's being hosed. 

My view is that's "ground needing repair", or ground under repair that hasn't been repaired yet.  As for when is a divot no longer a divot argument... it's a divot when your playing partner says it's a divot.  After all, the playing partner is there to protect the field.

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10 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

This topic gets brought up every year or two, usually when there is a rule change and divots didn't make the cut... again, or a pro gets hosed in a tournament.  Westwood didn't get hosed.  He had a nice sand-filled divot to hit out of and made a nice shot onto the green.  

There are divots and then there are "divots".  Many courses we play don't have the luxury of sand-filled divots, especially this past year.  It's not that people occasionally don't fill divots, they never fill divots.  Our carts don't even have sand bottles anymore, and we don't have rakes for the bunkers either.  It's one thing to hit out of a sand-filled divot, it's quite another to hit out of a crater in the middle of the fairway, half the ball below below grade, with the divot angled 45 degrees to the direction of the green.  Now that's being hosed. 

My view is that's "ground needing repair", or ground under repair that hasn't been repaired yet.  As for when is a divot no longer a divot argument... it's a divot when your playing partner says it's a divot.  After all, the playing partner is there to protect the field.

A fair and balanced approach. I like it! 😉 

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